national parks

Spelunkers, It's Time to Celebrate Cave Week

Stalagmites to stalactites: The National Park Service is spotlighting some of the country's great caverns.

Steven Trainoff Ph.D.
  • Cave Week is happening from June 5 through 11, 2022
  • The National Park Service has suggestions on finding great caves in your area
  • Crystal Cave in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is closed for summer 2022, but other caves, like the Channel Islands sea caves, may be visited

YOUR SUBTERRANEAN STATE: Is it true that you can direct any out-of-town friend to the best attractions, most interesting museums and loveliest outdoor destinations? Surely you can, because if you're in California, then you are in a place that absolutely brims with beautiful spots. But how is your internal mapping when it comes to the caves that exist underneath our feet, the spectacular sea caves that dot the Channel Islands, and the go-below realms that offer otherworldly experiences of the most bat-tastic, formation-fabulous varieties? If you're something of a spelunker, or you regularly rave about caves, then you might be able to direct adventure-seeking pals to California's incredible caves.

IT'S CAVE WEEK, a perfectly timed celebration that arrives near the start of the summer season, or at least the officially observed unofficial start to summer. It's the kick-off to the road-trippiest stretch of the calendar, and cave-seeking travelers want to know where to go, what to see, and how to tell the difference between a stalagmite and stalactite. The National Park Service gets our cave-leaning stance come June, and to celebrate Cave Week, which happens from June 5 through 11, the NPS is directing us 20 participating North American parks. How are they participating? By sharing cave-y content on social media, offering tours, and sharing the coolness of caves in lots of different ways.

GOLDEN STATE SPELUNKING: One of our state's best-known caverns, Crystal Cave in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is closed for summer 2022, but the stunning Painted Cave, a sea cave at Channel Islands National Parks, can be visited by booking a trip with Island Packers, the official concessionaire of the Channel Islands. Another favorite of cave-ists is located in Gold Country, near Volcano. It's Black Chasm Cavern, a fantastical world full of helictite formations. And the Lake Shasta Caverns? They first opened to visitors nearly six decades ago. Happy Cave Week, wherever you celebrate, and best of luck finding all of the stalagmites (they're growing up from the cave floor with all their "might") and stalactites (they're holding "tight" to the roof) that our state has to offer.

Contact Us